What is “conscious sleep” and should you try it? The weight of the experts

Author of From fatigue to fantastic, Jacob Tettelbaum, MD defines conscious sleep as “the ability to be aware of ourselves at different stages of sleep, but not of our body or surroundings.” Western scientific studies have focused on this condition during REM sleep and how a person can tap into his consciousness and experience bright dreams, Tetelbaum tells MBG.

However, conscious sleep is also possible with non-REM sleep. Indeed, in the tradition of pre-meditation, conscious sleep is taught as a way to maintain self-awareness, but in deep non-dream sleep without being aware of the body or the environment, Tettelbaum explains via email.

According to a review published in the journal Advances in brain research, The concept of conscious sleep was highlighted by Elmer and Alice Green of the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas. The couple teamed up with Swami Ram, then a master of Indian yoga meditation, to further explore how a person could find themselves in their deepest, non-REM sleep, but still, they have a keen awareness of their surroundings.

From the yogi’s point of view, conscious sleep was considered (and still is) a form of deep meditation that teaches them how to practice maintaining their meditative state regardless of what is happening in the world around them.

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